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Flight attendants’ union supports Frontier-Spirit merger

WASHINGTON (AP) – The largest union for United States (US) flight attendants threw its support on Tuesday behind Frontier Airlines’ proposal to buy Spirit Airlines after it reached a deal with Frontier on how to combine cabin crews at the two carriers.

The Association of Flight Attendants, which represents crews at both airlines, said the agreement with Frontier covers job, seniority and contract protections.

The union said the deal bars Frontier and Spirit from merging their operations until a new contract is ratified by union members. It said no flight attendants could be furloughed because of route changes that occur during the merger process.

In February, Frontier and Spirit announced a stock and cash deal then worth USD2.9 billion, but its value has declined because of a steep drop in Frontier’s stock price. JetBlue countered in April with a USD3.6 billion cash offer, but Spirit’s board rejected it, saying antitrust regulators were likely to block the deal. On Monday, JetBlue launched a USD3.2 billion hostile bid.

Spirit shareholders are scheduled to vote on the Frontier offer on June 10.

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